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Resources for Research Assistants

Library Liaisons to Faculty Members

Each faculty member at Boston College Law School has a law librarian liaison. The librarian liaison works closely with assigned faculty members to assist with research. When you receive a research assignment, ask your faculty member who their contact is, and feel free to contact that librarian liaison for research support and guidance. If that individual is not available, whoever is on reference duty will be happy to help you. 

Pulling Books for Your Faculty Member

Search the Library Catalog for books needed for research for your faculty member. Books in the Law Library should be checked out at the Information Desk. Books from other BC Libraries can be requested through the Catalog. Sign in and then request the books be delivered to the Law Library. Do NOT give books charged out to you directly to your faculty member as you are ultimately responsible for all books charged to your account. Make sure your faculty member sets you up as a proxy borrower, and ask the library staff member at the Information Desk to check them out to the faculty member. 

Books from Non-BC Libraries (Interlibrary Loan)

Interlibrary loan clipart of truck carrying three books

If you have been asked to obtain a book for a faculty member that is not owned by any BC libraries, please email lawill@bc.edu. ILL staff can then make the request for the faculty member who will be responsible for the book while it is on loan.  

Finding Journal Articles for Your Faculty Member

HeinOnline logoYour first choice for accessing law review articles typically should be HeinOnline--access it via the database links provided on the law library's homepage. Once in, select the Law Journal Library and use the Citation Navigator to retrieve PDFs of articles.

If a journal is not in HeinOnline, search the Library catalog to see if we have the journal in print or online from another source. If the Catalog links you to a PDF version of the journal, download that. If no PDF is available and we own the journal, you scan a copy of the article using the KIC Scanner or have the journal volume checked out to your faculty member's office.

If Boston College does not subscribe to a journal you need, use WorldCat to locate the journal title. Then log into the system and request the article directly. Article requests should include the author and title of the article as well as the page numbers and year of the journal. Other libraries will scan individual articles and send an electronic copy directly to you.

Using Indexes to Find Journal Articles

Imagine a faculty member asks you to find all the articles ever written on X topic. Consider using an index instead of searching the full-text of the articles, which is what happens on Lexis, Westlaw, and HeinOnline, you're searching a description written by an editor. Thus, you're most likely to retrieve articles that are actually about your topic--not those that just mention your terms in passing. In order to be comprehensive, you may need to search multiple indexes, particularly if your professor is interested in a long time frame or if the article topic is multi-disciplinary.